Transitioning to Organic: Certification Takes Time

A little information to get you started on your way to certification.
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After you've chosen a certifier, the first step in getting certified is to submit your application and certifier fees.  Part of this application will include an Organic System Plan.  This plan will provide information related to the organic integrity of your operation, including farm field and storage information, field history, products to be certified, and details of how you will manage your organic production. Submitting your plan can seem overwhelming, but remember your certifier can guide you through the process and answer any questions related to getting certified.

After your application is submitted, your file will be reviewed by your certifier.  If any information is missing or there are questions about your Organic System Plan, your certifier will contact you.

Once your application is complete, an inspector will contact you for an on-farm inspection.  To be prepared, have all pertinent records available for your inspector to audit.  Your certifier will provide instruction on how to prepare for inspection. 

After inspection, your inspection report will be returned to your certifier for review.  Based on the report, additional information may be required prior to your certificate being issued.  This may include seed receipts to document seed or certificates to verify feed used was organic.  If all the certification requirements are met, your certificate will be issued. 

Once issued, you may begin to market and sell your farm goods as organic.   Each year you must submit update application material and your farm will need inspecting.  Each farm operation is unique in getting certified.  Because of this, it is important that you develop a relationship with your certifier for effective communication.  

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